Senate Votes to Advance Employment Non-Discrimination Act

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November 7, 2013 — 2,399 views  
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The Employment Non-Discrimination Act made it through to the members of the US Senate with a vote of 61-30. Apart from getting a positive response from all of the Democrats, the bill was also supported by seven Republicans.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon. This Act will be prohibiting certain entities, which will include employers who have 15--or more than 15 employees, from making a discrimination against individuals solely on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation as well as gender identity of the person.

What Will ENDA do?

The following are the prohibitions under this Act.

  • ENDA will make it illegal for the employers to refuse or fail to discharge or hire any individual and make discrimination against individuals with respect to their terms, conditions, compensation or other privileges of their employment , because of their gender identity or perceived or actual sexual orientation; or,
  • ENDA will make it illegal for the employers to segregate, classify or limit applicants for employment or employees of the employer to be deprived or tend to be deprived of employment. This may affect the professional status of the individual adversely because of his or her gender identity or perceived or actual sexual orientation.

The Act has defined “gender identity” as identity, mannerisms, appearance, or other characteristics of individuals related to their gender, with regard or without taking into consideration the designated sex of the individual at birth.

Apart from that, the Act also includes anti-retaliation and anti-discrimination provisions governing labor organizations and employment agencies.

The legislation terms have defined unlawful employment practice to be when there is an establishment of complaint by a party stating that gender identity or sexual orientation of an individual has been the motivating factor behind the employment practice.

Obama in Favor of the Act

ENDA will also expand the protection against present discrimination against people on the basis of religion, race, gender, age, national origin, as well as disability to LGBTs. President Barack Obama said that Congress needs to pass this Act as it is the right of the land.

He further said that presently, many states in the country are allowed to fire a person solely on the ground that the person in question is gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual. He said that this is wrong as well as offensive and it is high time that such practices should be brought to an end. He concluded by saying that people in USA should not be judged on the choice they make in who they choose to love.  

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